Friday, July 9, 2010

Muslims organize: refuse to be slandered

Thanks to the good people over at NextLeftNotes we have a report, statement, and possibly a new front in the war against blind discrimination on SI.

There have been a number of protests in support of the Muslim population on Staten Island, who have been slandered and abused by the local dingbats who somehow think anyone that doesn't look like them is 'foreign' and therefore evil.

The Advance is reporting that this group will form a Islamic civic association on Staten Island, which is welcome and will hopefully open some dialogue and create a better understanding among the different groups on SI.

Here is the full statement from Hesham El-Meligy of the Arab Muslim American Federation, again provided by NLN:

Good morning everyone and thank you for being here. My name is Hesham El-Meligy and I am speaking on behalf of the Staten Island Muslim community. I am a founding member of the Building Bridges Coalition of Staten Island and a member of other interfaith and community organizations, such as the Staten Island Clergy Leadership and the Staten Island Immigrants Council. I lived on Staten Island for more than 10 years and been trying to build bridges of understanding and respect. Other Staten Island Muslim leaders and myself spoke at Churches, Synagogues and Temples in different occasions about Islam & Muslims. We shared in many events with others of different faiths, ethnicities, and backgrounds. In spite of all that, I found out that some on Staten Island do not even know that there are Muslims here. I found out that stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims is still rampant within some circles. I know Muslim families who lived on Staten Island since the sixties. In the past few years, the Muslim population of Staten Island doubled and maybe even tripled. Though the census results are not out yet, an estimate of the Staten Island Muslim population ranges between 25,000 and 35,000. 10 percent or more of Staten Island’s medical doctors are Muslim. Muslim owned businesses are everywhere. There are only 5 Mosques to serve this growing population and all are located above the highway on the North shore, while Muslims live everywhere on the Island, from Tottenville to Saint George, and from Midland Beach to Travis. The reaction to the sale of the convent hurts us. We are Staten Islanders. We have the right to have a house of worship anywhere of our choosing according to the law of the land. We don’t want a privilege that no one else has; we just won’t accept being treated as second class. I am a Muslim by choice, no one is forcing me to anything and I am proud to be a Staten Island Muslim. I am proud of the true teachings of Islam as found in the Quran and the example of Prophet Muhammad {peace be upon him} and all other prophets sent by God. The name of God in Arabic is Allah. Jewish and Christian Arabs use that name in worship. In the Arabic version of the book of Genesis, on it’s first page, there are 17 verses and 17 times the name Allah is there. Allah is the creator and the same God worshiped by Jews and Christians. Although it is clear that the true teachings of Islam criminalize any act of terror, there are some who still are trying to link Islam to terror. There are even some who are asking, why Muslims do not come out and condemn terrorism. Well, it has been done on numerous occasions, but maybe another time won’t hurt. Let it be recorded that Muslims in Staten Island, in the City of New York, In the State of New York, and in the United States of America condemn terrorism in any shape or form, whether it carried out by someone who happens to be Muslim or non-Muslim, whether it is done by an individual or a group or a country. I take the chance today and announce the establishment of the Islamic Civic Association of Staten Island; an organization that will provide services to the growing Staten Island Muslim community and act as the bridge between them and others. Thank you, may God bless you and may God bless America and our world.

1 comment:

  1. zionism seems to be the western dream and the western dream is the true source of terrorism. conquer and divide all and were just gonna say god told us to. plus they have it all wrapped up with how everything is supposed go to hell before el christ face comes back. thats why most western conservatives have no respect for the future or no conception of a peaceful prosperous one where no one loses. I mean theres already enough money out there to support a world wide socialistic state. except its only in 1% of the human populations hand.